Explaining Space Maintainers

Explaining Space Maintainers

Jul 01, 2021

Are you looking for information on space maintainers? Space maintainers are orthodontic appliances created from metal or acrylic and custom-made by the kid’s dentist near you to hold space for permanent teeth if your child has prematurely lost their baby teeth. Space maintainers guide the permanent teeth into their correct positions preventing the remaining teeth in the mouth from shifting or drifting towards the space reserved for the permanent teeth.

If your child has lost baby teeth prematurely, you can seek advice from the kid’s dentist near you, providing two types of space maintainers. Your child can either have a fixed space maintainer or a removable appliance. Let us explain both varieties to help you understand them better.

Fixed Space Maintainers

Fixed space maintainers are bonded in place to hold space for the permanent teeth until they emerge from your child’s gums. Three different types of fixed space maintainers are provided by Greenwood pediatric dentistry. There are:

  • Lingual: If your child has more than one missing tooth, they receive a lingual space maintainer. Generally, it is bonded to the molars and connected by a wire wrapped around the inside of the child’s lower front teeth.
  • Distal Shoe: If space for your child’s first permanent molar needs holding a distal shoe maintainer is beneficial. In contrast to other space maintainers, insertion of the metal used in your child’s gumline prevents the space from closing. As the metal is inserted into your child’s gums, you must schedule regular appointments with the pediatric dentist in Greenwood, SC, to monitor the progress of the emerging tooth and ensure it shifts correctly into its place.
  • Unilateral: Unilateral space maintainers are also known as the crown and loop. It is attached to merely one side of the mouth and is in place to hold space for a single tooth. Unilateral space maintainers are wrapped around the outside of the tooth and connected to a metal loop to keep the area intact.

Removable Space Maintainers

Removable space maintainers are similar to the fixed counterparts but are made from acrylic instead of metal and are removable at any time. If the child’s pediatric dentist is concerned about your child using bone density in their jaw, they recommend using an artificial tooth to close the space until the permanent tooth emerges.

How Long Does Your Child Need to Wear Space Maintainers?

Some children’s permanent teeth emerge faster while others do not. In some cases, your child may need to wear the space maintainer for a few months, while in other cases, they may require the space maintainer for years.

How to Care for Space Maintainers?

Removable space maintainers are not durable, necessitating the need to ensure your child takes appropriate care of their space maintainer. For fixed space maintainers, the maintenance required is similar to undergoing orthodontic treatment in Greenwood. A few tips to help your child care for the space maintainer include:

  • Staying away from sticky foods and candy.
  • Children must avoid biting down on hard foods like carrots and apples.
  • Children mustn’t tamper with the maintainer with their tongue, fingers, or any other objects.
  • Most importantly, children must maintain excellent oral hygiene.

Space maintainers help guide your child’s permanent teeth into the appropriate space-saving you plenty of money on future orthodontic treatment in Greenwood. However, the need for orthodontic treatments also burdens you with the problem of tooth decay and gum disease in the child’s mouth, affecting their oral and overall health. Therefore, if your child has lost baby teeth, you must schedule an appointment with the child’s pediatric dentist to understand whether they need space maintainers to hold space for the emerging permanent teeth.

What Happens If You Ignore Space Maintainers?

A lost baby tooth may seem like a minor problem because children are expected to lose them by six or seven for the permanent teeth to emerge. However, if you ignore the problem, you allow your child’s remaining teeth to move towards the vacant space left by the missing tooth or teeth. Holding the area is incredibly essential if you wish to see your child have straighter teeth and a beautiful smile. It also helps ensure your child maintains good oral hygiene and doesn’t have issues like jaw discomfort or overcrowding in their mouths. Therefore if your child has missing teeth, you must consider providing them space maintainers to ensure their permanent teeth emerge as desired.

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